Technology

Tafep not taking action on Ubisoft Singapore after probe into sexual harassment


SINGAPORE – The national watchdog for fair employment practices will not be taking any action against the Singapore office of French video game developer Ubisoft after completing a probe into claims of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination at the studio.

The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) explained in a statement on Thursday (Jan 27) that the company, which has worked on the famed Assassin’s Creed games, handled the workplace harassment reports that it received appropriately.

Tafep added that Ubisoft Singapore has a structured process to remunerate its employees fairly, which does not disadvantage Singaporeans based on nationality or race.

The game studio was probed by the watchdog in July last year following anonymous feedback on reports earlier that month by video game news sites like Kotaku.

Kotaku’s report alleged sexual harassment and workplace discrimination at Ubisoft Singapore, based on interviews with over 20 current and former employees of the studio.

The report also said the company’s former managing director Hugues Ricour was accused of harassing a female colleague.

Mr Ricour, who assumed the role in 2018, was no longer studio head of Ubisoft Singapore after a “leadership audit”, Kotaku reported in November 2020, citing an internal company e-mail.

The company confirmed he would remain in Ubisoft but was leaving the Singapore studio. His LinkedIn page shows that he is now working in Ubisoft’s Paris office and has been there since March 2021.

Tafep said on Thursday that following Ubisoft’s investigations into Mr Ricour for workplace harassment, “the company demoted the perpetrator to a single contributor role, removed him from the Singapore office, and served him with a final written warning”.

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The watchdog said this was one example in which the game company had taken appropriate action against perpetrators for workplace harassment reports found to be true, adding that the studio had investigated every report it received.

Tafep said some actions Ubisoft took for past cases included written or verbal warnings and demotion. Arrangements were also made to minimise future work interactions between the perpetrators and the harassed workers, where relevant.

“The company has a structured system to manage workplace harassment, including hiring independent third parties to conduct investigations, and providing a confidential reporting platform for employees,” said the watchdog.

It added that the current managing director of Ubisoft Singapore, Mr Darryl Long, also took the issues raised in the media reports seriously, and has met with over 150 employees so far to understand their concerns and address them.

The company has about 500 employees here.



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